Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 21929

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Cotton Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Anyang 455000, China
Interests: structural and functional genetics; molecular breeding; plant physiology; biotic and abiotic stress tolerance; plant–microbe interaction; cottonseed and fiber development
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Guest Editor
Marine and Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory, Fuzhou Institute of Oceanography, Minjiang University, Fuzhou 350108, China
Interests: biotic and abiotic stress tolerance; plant genomics; plant–microbe interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are constantly subjected to various biotic and abiotic stresses throughout their life cycles, the former of which is usually caused by the infection and competition of plant pathogens, pests, or weeds, while the latter is mainly related to environmental conditions, such as extreme temperature, drought, salinity, flooding, and waterlogging. Due to the complexity and variability of environmental factors as well as their interactions with other factors, these stresses have a strong impact on the germination, growth and reproduction of sessile-growing organisms. This triggers various morphological, physiological and biochemical changes, further causing incalculable yield loss and quality reduction. Therefore, it is of great significance to investigate the adaptive mechanisms of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses to not only resolve fundamental scientific questions, but also to ensure agricultural and food security.

This Special Issue aims at presenting the progress in the state-of-the-art research of the adaptive mechanisms of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses for the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. We welcome reviews, research articles, short letters, and reports that use multi-omics and functional verification technologies, such as RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, CHIP-seq, proteome, metabolome, genetic transformation, and genome editing, for expounding the molecular mechanisms of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Additionally, we encourage the publication of research papers with significant innovative technologies and creative ideas related to plants’ adaptive mechanisms.

Dr. Wankui Gong
Dr. Songbiao Chen
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Plant growth and development
  • Adaptive mechanisms
  • Biotic and abiotic stresses
  • Multi-omics
  • Functional verification

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 5583 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Transcriptomic Responses of Bok Choy to Heat Stress
by Cuina Dong, Xixuan Peng, Xiaona Yang, Chenggang Wang, Lingyun Yuan, Guohu Chen, Xiaoyan Tang, Wenjie Wang, Jianqiang Wu, Shidong Zhu, Xingxue Huang, Jinlong Zhang and Jinfeng Hou
Plants 2024, 13(8), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13081093 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
High temperatures have adverse effects on the yield and quality of vegetables. Bok choy, a popular vegetable, shows varying resistance to heat. However, the mechanism underlying the thermotolerance of bok choy remains unclear. In this study, 26 bok choy varieties were identified in [...] Read more.
High temperatures have adverse effects on the yield and quality of vegetables. Bok choy, a popular vegetable, shows varying resistance to heat. However, the mechanism underlying the thermotolerance of bok choy remains unclear. In this study, 26 bok choy varieties were identified in screening as being heat-resistant at the seedling stage; at 43 °C, it was possible to observe obvious heat damage in different bok choy varieties. The physiological and biochemical reactions of a heat-tolerant cultivar, Jinmei (J7), and a heat-sensitive cultivar, Sanyueman (S16), were analyzed in terms of the growth index, peroxide, and photosynthetic parameters. The results show that Jinmei has lower relative conductivity, lower peroxide content, and higher total antioxidant capacity after heat stress. We performed transcriptome analysis of the two bok choy varieties under heat stress and normal temperatures. Under heat stress, some key genes involved in sulfur metabolism, glutathione metabolism, and the ribosome pathway were found to be significantly upregulated in the heat-tolerant cultivar. The key genes of each pathway were screened according to their fold-change values. In terms of sulfur metabolism, genes related to protease activity were significantly upregulated. Glutathione synthetase (GSH2) in the glutathione metabolism pathway and the L3e, L23, and S19 genes in the ribosomal pathway were significantly upregulated in heat-stressed cultivars. These results suggest that the total antioxidant capacity and heat injury repair capacity are higher in Jinmei than in the heat-sensitive variety, which might be related to the specific upregulation of genes in certain metabolic pathways after heat stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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21 pages, 952 KiB  
Article
Biotechnology and Solutions: Insect-Pest-Resistance Management for Improvement and Development of Bt Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
by Abdul Razzaq, Muhammad Mubashar Zafar, Arfan Ali, Pengtao Li, Fariha Qadir, Laviza Tuz Zahra, Fiza Shaukat, Abdul Hafeez Laghari, Youlu Yuan and Wankui Gong
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4071; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234071 - 4 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2258
Abstract
Cotton (Gossypium spp. L.) is a major origin of natural fiber, and is projected at 117 million bales worldwide for 2021/22. A variety of biotic and abiotic stresses have considerable negative impacts on cotton. The significantly decreased applications of chemical insecticidal sprays [...] Read more.
Cotton (Gossypium spp. L.) is a major origin of natural fiber, and is projected at 117 million bales worldwide for 2021/22. A variety of biotic and abiotic stresses have considerable negative impacts on cotton. The significantly decreased applications of chemical insecticidal sprays in the agro-ecosystem have greatly affected the biodiversity and dynamics of primary and secondary insects. Various control measures were taken around the globe to increase production costs. Temperature, drought, and salinity, and biotic stresses such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes, insects, and mites cause substantial losses to cotton crops. Here, we summarize a number of biotic and abiotic stresses upsetting Bt cotton crop with present and future biotechnology solution strategies that include a refuge strategy, multi-gene pyramiding, the release of sterile insects, seed mixing, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9, biotic signaling, and the use of bioagents. Surveillance of insect resistance, monitoring of grower compliance, and implementation of remedial actions can lead to the sustainable use of cotton across the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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17 pages, 10953 KiB  
Article
Transcription Factor GmERF105 Negatively Regulates Salt Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
by Lu Li, Zhen Zhu, Juan Liu, Yu Zhang, Yang Lu, Jinming Zhao, Han Xing and Na Guo
Plants 2023, 12(16), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12163007 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
The Ethylene Response Factor (ERF) transcription factors form a subfamily of the AP2/ERF family that is instrumental in mediating plant responses to diverse abiotic stressors. Herein, we present the isolation and characterization of the GmERF105 gene from Williams 82 (W82), which is rapidly [...] Read more.
The Ethylene Response Factor (ERF) transcription factors form a subfamily of the AP2/ERF family that is instrumental in mediating plant responses to diverse abiotic stressors. Herein, we present the isolation and characterization of the GmERF105 gene from Williams 82 (W82), which is rapidly induced by salt, drought, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments in soybean. The GmERF105 protein contains an AP2 domain and localizes to the nucleus. GmERF105 was selectively bound to GCC-box by gel migration experiments. Under salt stress, overexpression of GmERF105 in Arabidopsis significantly reduced seed germination rate, fresh weight, and antioxidant enzyme activity; meanwhile, sodium ion content, malonic dialdehyde (MDA) content, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were markedly elevated compared to the wild type. It was further found that the transcription levels of CSD1 and CDS2 of two SOD genes were reduced in OE lines. Furthermore, the GmERF105 transgenic plants displayed suppressed expression of stress response marker genes, including KIN1, LEA14, NCED3, RD29A, and COR15A/B, under salt treatment. Our findings suggest that GmERF105 can act as a negative regulator in plant salt tolerance pathways by affecting ROS scavenging systems and the transcription of stress response marker genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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22 pages, 4850 KiB  
Article
Sensitivity of the Photosynthetic Apparatus in Maize and Sorghum under Different Drought Levels
by Martin Stefanov, Georgi Rashkov, Preslava Borisova and Emilia Apostolova
Plants 2023, 12(9), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12091863 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
Drought is one of the main environmental stress factors affecting plant growth and yield. The impact of different PEG concentrations on the photosynthetic performance of maize (Zea mays L. Mayflower) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Foehn) was investigated. The activity of [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the main environmental stress factors affecting plant growth and yield. The impact of different PEG concentrations on the photosynthetic performance of maize (Zea mays L. Mayflower) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Foehn) was investigated. The activity of the photosynthetic apparatus was assessed using chlorophyll fluorescence (PAM and JIP test) and photooxidation of P700. The data revealed that water deficiency decreased the photochemical quenching (qP), the ratio of photochemical to nonphotochemical processes (Fv/Fo), the effective quantum yield of the photochemical energy conversion in PSII (ΦPSII), the rate of the electron transport (ETR), and the performance indexes PItotal and PIABS, as the impact was stronger in sorghum than in maize and depended on drought level. The PSI photochemistry (P700 photooxidation) in sorghum was inhibited after the application of all studied drought levels, while in maize, it was registered only after treatment with higher PEG concentrations (30% and 40%). Enhanced regulated energy losses (ΦNPQ) and activation of the state transition under drought were also observed in maize, while in sorghum, an increase mainly in nonregulated energy losses (ΦNO). A decrease in pigment content and relative water content and an increase in membrane damage were also registered after PEG treatment. The experimental results showed better drought tolerance of maize than sorghum. This study provides new information about the role of regulated energy losses and state transition for the protection of the photosynthetic apparatus under drought and might be a practical approach to the determination of the drought tolerance of plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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16 pages, 3598 KiB  
Article
Identification of Key Modules and Candidate Genes for Powdery Mildew Resistance of Wheat-Agropyron cristatum Translocation Line WAT-2020-17-6 by WGCNA
by Mingming Yao, Xinhua Wang, Jiaohui Long, Shuangyu Bai, Yuanyuan Cui, Zhaoyi Wang, Caixia Liu, Fenglou Liu, Zhangjun Wang and Qingfeng Li
Plants 2023, 12(2), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020335 - 11 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1673
Abstract
As one of the serious diseases of wheat, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) is a long-term threat to wheat production. Therefore, it is of great significance to explore new powdery mildew-resistant genes for breeding. The wild relative species of [...] Read more.
As one of the serious diseases of wheat, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) is a long-term threat to wheat production. Therefore, it is of great significance to explore new powdery mildew-resistant genes for breeding. The wild relative species of wheat provide gene resources for resistance to powdery mildew breeding. Agropyron cristatum (2n = 4x = 28, genomes PPPP) is an important wild relative of wheat, carrying excellent genes for high yield, disease resistance, and stress resistance, which can be used for wheat improvement. To understand the molecular mechanism of powdery mildew resistance in the wheat-A. cristatum translocation line WAT2020-17-6, transcriptome sequencing was performed, and the resistance genes were analyzed by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). In the results, 42,845 differentially expressed genes were identified and divided into 18 modules, of which six modules were highly correlated with powdery mildew resistance. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that the six interested modules related to powdery mildew resistance were significantly enriched in N-methyltransferase activity, autophagy, mRNA splicing via spliceosome, chloroplast envelope, and AMP binding. The candidate hub genes of the interested modules were further identified, and their regulatory relationships were analyzed based on co-expression data. The temporal expression pattern of the 12 hub genes was verified within 96 h after powdery mildew inoculation by RT-PCR assay. In this study, we preliminarily explained the resistance mechanism of the wheat-A. cristatum translocation lines and obtained the hub candidate genes, which laid a foundation in the exploration of resistance genes in A. cristatum for powdery mildew-resistant breeding in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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19 pages, 2481 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Metabolic Responses of Gac Leaf (Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng.) to Salinity Stress
by Thitiwan Jumpa, Diane M. Beckles, Patcharin Songsri, Kunlaya Pattanagul and Wattana Pattanagul
Plants 2022, 11(19), 2447; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11192447 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2135
Abstract
Gac is a carotenoid-rich, healthful tropical fruit; however, its productivity is limited by soil salinity, a growing environmental stress. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of salinity stress on key physiological traits and metabolites in 30-day-old gac seedling leaves, treated with 0, [...] Read more.
Gac is a carotenoid-rich, healthful tropical fruit; however, its productivity is limited by soil salinity, a growing environmental stress. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of salinity stress on key physiological traits and metabolites in 30-day-old gac seedling leaves, treated with 0, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 150-mM sodium chloride (NaCl) for four weeks to identify potential alarm, acclimatory, and exhaustion responses. Electrolyte leakage increased with increasing NaCl concentrations (p < 0.05) indicating loss of membrane permeability and conditions that lead to reactive oxygen species production. At 25 and 50 mM NaCl, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, starch content, and total soluble sugar increased. Chlorophyll a, and total chlorophyll increased at 25 mM NaCl but decreased at higher NaCl concentrations indicating salinity-induced thylakoid membrane degradation and chlorophyllase activity. Catalase (CAT) activity decreased (p < 0.05) at all NaCl treatments, while ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) activities were highest at 150 mM NaCl. GC-MS-metabolite profiling showed that 150 mM NaCl induced the largest changes in metabolites and was thus distinct. Thirteen pathways and 7.73% of metabolites differed between the control and all the salt-treated seedlings. Salinity decreased TCA cycle intermediates, and there were less sugars for growth but more for osmoprotection, with the latter augmented by increased amino acids. Although 150 mM NaCl level decreased SOD activity, the APX and GPX enzymes were still active, and some carbohydrates and metabolites also accumulated to promote salinity resistance via multiple mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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Review

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22 pages, 434 KiB  
Review
Plants’ Response Mechanisms to Salinity Stress
by Thuvaraki Balasubramaniam, Guoxin Shen, Nardana Esmaeili and Hong Zhang
Plants 2023, 12(12), 2253; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12122253 - 8 Jun 2023
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 11211
Abstract
Soil salinization is a severe abiotic stress that negatively affects plant growth and development, leading to physiological abnormalities and ultimately threatening global food security. The condition arises from excessive salt accumulation in the soil, primarily due to anthropogenic activities such as irrigation, improper [...] Read more.
Soil salinization is a severe abiotic stress that negatively affects plant growth and development, leading to physiological abnormalities and ultimately threatening global food security. The condition arises from excessive salt accumulation in the soil, primarily due to anthropogenic activities such as irrigation, improper land uses, and overfertilization. The presence of Na⁺, Cl, and other related ions in the soil above normal levels can disrupt plant cellular functions and lead to alterations in essential metabolic processes such as seed germination and photosynthesis, causing severe damage to plant tissues and even plant death in the worst circumstances. To counteract the effects of salt stress, plants have developed various mechanisms, including modulating ion homeostasis, ion compartmentalization and export, and the biosynthesis of osmoprotectants. Recent advances in genomic and proteomic technologies have enabled the identification of genes and proteins involved in plant salt-tolerance mechanisms. This review provides a short overview of the impact of salinity stress on plants and the underlying mechanisms of salt-stress tolerance, particularly the functions of salt-stress-responsive genes associated with these mechanisms. This review aims at summarizing recent advances in our understanding of salt-stress tolerance mechanisms, providing the key background knowledge for improving crops’ salt tolerance, which could contribute to the yield and quality enhancement in major crops grown under saline conditions or in arid and semiarid regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
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